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Utility Legislative Update (Part One in a Series)

By Scott A. Miller, CPA, Partner, June 29, 2017

Legislature Creates New Infrastructure Assistance Program for Water and Wastewater Projects

The 2017 legislative session is now in the rearview mirror.  And while “infrastructure improvement” was a key buzzword during the session, transportation funding was definitely in the driver’s seat.  New funding for water and wastewater projects did not get a green light; however, legislative architecture was put in place to provide additional funding in a future session.

Public Law 233 (formerly Senate Enrolled Act 416) enhances the ability of the Indiana Finance Authority (“IFA”) to support infrastructure investment in the State’s water and wastewater utilities.  The IFA is now responsible for monitoring and studying “events and conditions that bear upon the ability of utilities to provide clean and safe drinking water in Indiana for the foreseeable future.”  In this role, the IFA has the following powers:

  • Assess issues related to service line ownership and replacement.
  • Assess the challenges that utilities are likely to encounter as they become subject to more stringent governmental requirements.
  • Study cost recovery mechanisms that enable utilities to respond quickly to system needs.
  • Monitor the growing costs for utilities in complying with consent decrees related to governmental requirements.
  • Study regional water ownership issues, including cross-border issues.

To help provide additional financial assistance to utilities, the legislation creates the Infrastructure Assistance Program which will be a source of money for grants, loans and other financial assistance to participants in the program.  While initial funding for the Program was not included in the budget just adopted, the hope is that money will be appropriated in the next budget cycle.  In addition to State funding, the IFA also has the authority to issue bonds or notes to fund the program. 

The new Infrastructure Assistance Program will work in conjunction with the existing State Revolving Fund program and the existing Supplemental Drinking Water and Wastewater Assistance Program.  Until funding becomes available, the IFA will be preparing the rules, terms and conditions that participants will be required to follow in order to obtain funding assistance for their water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

In the next part of this series, we will discuss new legislation that may allow for the creation of “lifeline” rates for water and wastewater service in Indiana.

If you would like additional information regarding the Infrastructure Assistance Program, please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Information in this article was believed current as of the date of publication. As you know, changes occur frequently. The information presented is of a general educational nature. Before applying to your specific circumstances, please contact us at


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